Consumers holding out for Black Friday and seasonable discounts are to blame for an eleventh consecutive month of footfall decline, according to Springboard.
Figures for the four weeks to 27 September show a 2% decline in footfall on the previous year.
The drop is identical to that recorded in October 2017, supporting the conclusion that consumers are waiting on Black Friday and seasonal discounts before shopping in store.
Northern Ireland, up 2.7%, was the only region to record growth. The East and East Midlands saw the biggest decreases of 6.1% and 4.8% respectively.
The South East saw a decline of 5%, the deepest fall since April 2018.
High street footfall fell by 2.3% in a third month of decline.
Shopping Centre footfall dropped 3.3%, marking 19 consecutive months of decline.
Chief executive of British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, said: “The government’s recent Budget missed the opportunity to halt the rising cost of business rates for firms employing the majority of the UK’s 3.1 million retail workers. With the rates multiplier now set to rise to over 50%, the government should reflect on the impact it is having on our high streets and plan for a wholesale reform of our broken business rate system.”